Live Review: Hundred Reasons – Birmingham

Live Review: Hundred Reasons – O2 Institute, Birmingham
3rd March 2023
Support: My Vitriol, Hell Is For Heroes
Words: Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch

This evening we are returning to the turn of the millennium, to a time where we all had less cares, less responsibilities, and certainly less fear of the following morning’s hangover. As we head to Birmingham’s O2 Institute we reminisce ahead of Hundred Reasons return to the city, along side Hell Is For Heroes and My Vitriol. This is a line up that would have sold out venues across the country twenty five years ago, and as tonight proves they can still do it today!

The old school concert hall soon fills up ready for My Vitriol to take to the stage. The four piece from London, saw massive success on their debut album ‘Finelines’ in 2001 and hitaus’ and mis-steps aside, their talent could have projected them much further.

Opening with ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘The Gentle Art of Choking’ the audience is transported back to those heady years, the sound of nu-metal melding with shoegaze to produce a mesmerising musical tone distinctly driven from that point in time. With little room on stage the band’s performance is focused purely into the music, the atmosphere in the room electric as they proceed through forty minutes closed off with ‘Alpha Waves’ and ‘Always: Your Way’.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Enrique Iglesias’ ‘Hero’ plays out over the PA, the audience unwittingly singing along as Hell Is For Heroes return to the stage. Energetic frontman Justin Schlosberg takes control of the show, watched on by his children side of stage, he and his bandmates wow’s the crowd through ‘Folder Paper Figures’ and ‘Out of Site’. With hints of post-hardcore in their music, they pack a punch, more direct than My Vitriol and more accessible in the live arena.

It's not long before Schlosberg is out in the crowd, lifted above their shoulders as the band play on. ‘I Can Climb Mountains’ delivers another body blow, striking the crowd with its power and the bands delivery. For forty five minutes the striking performance continues ’You Drove Me to It’ through ‘Five Kids Go’, ‘Night Vision’ and eventually ‘Slow Song’. That was literally a show stealing performance, one I hope to see again soon.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Just a few weeks ago Hundred Reasons returned after a lengthy hiatus to critical acclaim. Their latest album ‘Glorious Sunset’ the bands first offering since 2007’s ‘Quick The Word, Sharp The Action’. To quickly capitalise on the huge wave of momentum behind them they hit the road, selling out venues, across the country, including tonights special show in Birmingham.

With the stage now cleared of clutter, low lighting highlights the band from below, giving the room a soft, comforting feel perfectly suiting the bands return, the welcome home of a long lost friend.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

They kick off with the title track from the bands latest album before moving into ‘What You Get’ a throwback to 2002 for many of us. There is no dominant force in the band, they are a single entity, moving and performing as one , a style which stands the band out above others.

It’s not long before ‘I’ll Find You’, a true classic, is rolled out and the waves of nostalgia keep flowing. But this tour is not just about the nostalgia. The new numbers are scattered throughout the set, melding perfectly with older songs.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

The trio of Colin Doran, Larry Hibbitt and Andy Gilmour drive the performance home teaming perfectly atop Andy Bews drum backing to deliver this trip down memory lane. The sound encapsulates our youth, but the delivery is more mature, more refined, fitting of the day we are in.

As they close out a near perfect performance another new number ‘Replicate’ leads us into noughties rock club classic ‘If I Could’, Doran’s lyrics “I’d stay for ages, if I could” ringing in our ears long into the night.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

All photo credits: Tim Finch Photography

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